What makes people succeed?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Dottie57
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:38 pm

I make more money than many of mr friends and acquaintances. But I certainly think there are other measures of success that are more important. Taking care of and enjoying family and friends is higher on the list. Lots of other measures than $$$$.

carolinaman
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:23 am

Trader/Investor wrote:And by successful, I mean making (very) good money.

Am I the only one who sees a problem right there?


I agree. He obviously sees money as the measuring stick for success. I do not. I have seen many people with average incomes who were very happy and would tell you they are successful. They have great family and social lives and are comfortable with who and what they are. Conversely, I have seen very wealthy people who were obsessed with money and who were pretty miserable. Their family lives were a mess and they lacked true friends. I am not saying this is true of all wealthy people but those who are successful likely have other important attributes such as good family, good social life and a higher purpose in life.

People will differ in their definition of success, and that is fine. IMO, money alone is a poor measuring stick for success.

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mlebuf
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by mlebuf » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:43 pm

Talking about what makes people succeed is meaningless until we define success. Here are my 2 favorite definitions:

1. "There is only one success - to be able to spend your own life your own way."
- Christopher Morley

2. "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."
- Earl Nightingale

You can hear a more explicit definition by the late Earl Nightingale in his recording, "The Strangest Secret."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ICWP9BvbJQ

Notice that both definitions define success as a journey rather than as a destination and neither one mentions money or any other specific criteria. How successful we are is a highly personal matter where each of us are our own judge and jury. The real key to a successful life is to not allow others to determine our level of success. Other-directed people do that and it usually ends up as an exercise in frustration. The key is to be inner-directed and do those activities that allow you to enjoy the journey one day at a time. To do that is to have succeeded.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Fallible » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:03 pm

mlebuf wrote:Talking about what makes people succeed is meaningless until we define success. Here are my 2 favorite definitions:

1. "There is only one success - to be able to spend your own life your own way."
- Christopher Morley

2. "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."
- Earl Nightingale

You can hear a more explicit definition by the late Earl Nightingale in his recording, "The Strangest Secret."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ICWP9BvbJQ

Notice that both definitions define success as a journey rather than as a destination and neither one mentions money or any other specific criteria. How successful we are is a highly personal matter where each of us are our own judge and jury. The real key to a successful life is to not allow others to determine our level of success. Other-directed people do that and it usually ends up as an exercise in frustration. The key is to be inner-directed and do those activities that allow you to enjoy the journey one day at a time. To do that is to have succeeded.


^ :thumbsup
My favorite definition of success:
“Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last edited by Fallible on Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dpc
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by dpc » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:09 pm

My only observation is that people vastly underestimate the importance of luck as a key factor of success. The notion of a "self made" person is mostly a myth, IMO.

Recommend "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman and "Free Will" by Sam Harris.

OK, back in my hole.
"Worrying is like paying interest on a debt that you might never owe" -- Will Rogers

KlangFool
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:22 pm

dpc wrote:My only observation is that people vastly underestimate the importance of luck as a key factor of success. The notion of a "self made" person is mostly a myth, IMO.


dpc,

Unless you have a way to make people lucky, how could that be actionable or useful to anyone?

In my opinion, most people are average in term of luck. Sometimes, we are lucky and some times we are not. Some people take advantage of the time when they are lucky and some of them wasted the opportunity. Most of us has a few lucky shots in our lives.

<<The notion of a "self made" person is mostly a myth, IMO.>>

There are too many of those in my friends and families to prove otherwise.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:23 pm

mlebuf wrote:Talking about what makes people succeed is meaningless until we define success. Here are my 2 favorite definitions:

1. "There is only one success - to be able to spend your own life your own way."
- Christopher Morley



+1.

That is the one I go by.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Better2bWise » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:41 pm

dpc wrote:My only observation is that people vastly underestimate the importance of luck as a key factor of success. The notion of a "self made" person is mostly a myth, IMO.

Recommend "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman and "Free Will" by Sam Harris.

OK, back in my hole.


Chance favors the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur

When a true hunter is seeking his/her game, preparation and patience readies the hunter for the action required at the moment when the large buck shows himself. The time to act is required after a period of alertness and waiting. Even if the hunter stays alert, when the buck shows many hunters will freeze up and lose focus and ability to act upon the opportunity to succeed.

Also, you can't make the buck cross your path but you can ensure your readiness for his appearance and it requires you to be awake and practiced. I do think some people have insight where to position themselves to ensure a buck will cross their path. Self-made is the preparation and persistence to keep hunting even when one buck gets away.

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mlebuf
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by mlebuf » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:57 pm

dpc wrote:My only observation is that people vastly underestimate the importance of luck as a key factor of success. The notion of a "self made" person is mostly a myth, IMO.


Luck plays a role in everything, and many people do indeed play a role in what success we enjoy: Parents, teachers, mentors, colleagues, friends, etc. When I was young, I read that good luck happens when opportunity meets preparation. Fifty years later, I believe that more than ever. More often than not, good things happen to people who make good choices. Never underestimate the importance of luck, but luck happens to people who are looking for something. Louis Pasteur was correct.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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vitaflo
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by vitaflo » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:45 pm

an_asker wrote:Though I make a decent living, I count myself among those not successful. And by successful, I mean making (very) good money.


The recipe isn't really that hard. Find a career that is in demand and become and expert at it and exploit it for all its worth. Mostly done by hard work and being pleasant to work with (two things most people are notoriously bad at).

The fastest way there is to start a business, but this also caries the most risk. But there is a wage ceiling you will hit if you're only ever an employee. There isn't one if you're a business owner. This of course assumes max :moneybag is all you care about.

The part about speaking and grammar is a little confusing to me as unless you work in academia or something it's not going to matter. I'm horrible at wording but own two successful businesses. As long as people can understand what you're talking about it doesn't matter what words you use to get there. In fact, I've found more casual conversation actually drives more business. People don't want to talk to robots, they want to talk to humans and humans are imperfect.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by technovelist » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:26 pm

vitaflo wrote:
an_asker wrote:Though I make a decent living, I count myself among those not successful. And by successful, I mean making (very) good money.


The recipe isn't really that hard. Find a career that is in demand and become and expert at it and exploit it for all its worth. Mostly done by hard work and being pleasant to work with (two things most people are notoriously bad at).

The fastest way there is to start a business, but this also caries the most risk. But there is a wage ceiling you will hit if you're only ever an employee. There isn't one if you're a business owner. This of course assumes max :moneybag is all you care about.

The part about speaking and grammar is a little confusing to me as unless you work in academia or something it's not going to matter. I'm horrible at wording but own two successful businesses. As long as people can understand what you're talking about it doesn't matter what words you use to get there. In fact, I've found more casual conversation actually drives more business. People don't want to talk to robots, they want to talk to humans and humans are imperfect.


Nice post, written in perfect idiomatic English (aside from one typo). :mrgreen:
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:15 pm

KlangFool wrote:In my opinion, most people are average in term of luck.

There's individual luck, and systemic luck in terms of time and place. I benefited from that. I was a science grad student during a time when there was a severe engineer shortage. So I was hired into a company where I wouldn't even get and interview now. I'd probably be a professor at a small college now. Which might not be the worst thing in the world, but a different life for sure.

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VictoriaF
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:30 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
KlangFool wrote:In my opinion, most people are average in term of luck.

There's individual luck, and systemic luck in terms of time and place. I benefited from that. I was a science grad student during a time when there was a severe engineer shortage. So I was hired into a company where I wouldn't even get and interview now. I'd probably be a professor at a small college now. Which might not be the worst thing in the world, but a different life for sure.

Earl


Luck is subjective. If I am optimistic, I feel lucky that I was born with two hands, two ears, and great analytical mind. If I am pessimistic, I feel unlucky that I did not win the 2013 Think-off contest.

If I am optimistic, I feel lucky that I've found the Bogleheads. If I am pessimistic, I feel unlucky that I can't have as many posts as Livesoft.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

an_asker
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by an_asker » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:52 am

VictoriaF wrote:[...]If I am pessimistic, I feel unlucky that I can't have as many posts as Livesoft.

Victoria

At 15,000+ posts, I would definitely say that you are "successful," though not as much as Mr. Jones (aka Livesoft) ;-)

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by LarryAllen » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:00 am

dpc wrote:My only observation is that people vastly underestimate the importance of luck as a key factor of success. The notion of a "self made" person is mostly a myth, IMO. ....



No doubt. I agree and include luck in my factors. However, I have partially gotten "lucky" being available to take phone calls that turned out to be HUGE clients many times while working 12 hour days. So yes I was lucky enough to answer the phone but that luck derived from my being here at my desk at 6 am or 6 pm when my "competitors" were home in bed or out having a cocktail. Additionally I have been lucky with some professional choices I have made in life. However, my biggest choice was given to me after I worked my butt off networking with people for several years. One of those people I developed ended up introducing me to a professional situation that completely changed my professional practice. So yes some luck but it is not simply dumb luck.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Boglegrappler » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:17 am

Talking about what makes people succeed is meaningless until we define success. Here are my 2 favorite definitions:

1. "There is only one success - to be able to spend your own life your own way."
- Christopher Morley

2. "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."
- Earl Nightingale

You can hear a more explicit definition by the late Earl Nightingale in his recording, "The Strangest Secret."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ICWP9BvbJQ

Notice that both definitions define success as a journey rather than as a destination and neither one mentions money or any other specific criteria. How successful we are is a highly personal matter where each of us are our own judge and jury. The real key to a successful life is to not allow others to determine our level of success. Other-directed people do that and it usually ends up as an exercise in frustration. The key is to be inner-directed and do those activities that allow you to enjoy the journey one day at a time. To do that is to have succeeded.


I like the first definition, and the second is ok, but it depends on whether you get to define "worthy" or whether someone else does.

An irony is that, in business (and many other careers), your level of success depends on you serving others. You must please your customers, your supervisors and co-workers, some amalgamation of those groups, or suffer for not doing so.

To the degree that you want food for thought from a curmudgeonly, straight-shooting fellow, take a look at this site and the links in it regarding success. Its not everyone's cup of tea, but he'll make you think.

http://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed- ... eant-to-do

nova1968
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by nova1968 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:59 am

Success comes in a variety of variations. Some people are successful in sports, or academics, some people are successful in their jobs, Others commit to helping people, while others become well off financially. I realize the posts interpretation of success is based on economic success.

The main premise of this site is index investing and I believe a person of Middle Class means who starts early and implements a disciplined approach to compound investing in index funds that are properly allocated over the course of decades and is conservative in spending patterns can achieve a high net worth. This concept takes a disciplined approach to success that requires some luck, not a lot of talent, and requires discipline versus drive.
Of course Drive, Luck and Talents are key factors to success but not everyone is fortunate to have these traits in their favor.

soccerdad12
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by soccerdad12 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:25 pm

Interesting topic, so I will give it a whirl....

I don't think you can teach or ingrain what it takes to really excel to the top. I think you are born with an inner drive that others just don't have and I think you have it at a pretty early age. I think parents can nurture raw material in kids, but they can't create it.

I would distinguish between people that earned the "success" and people that inherited the "success." I know a guy that was a cut up and not particularly smart that inherited his dad's very strong business and sold it. He has a ton of money, but I wouldn't say he was a success. I also know someone that has been a passionate teacher her whole life and after 20+ years is now a principal of a high school. I would consider her a wild success.

There is a small element of luck, but the truly successful people would have made it there anyways (maybe to a smaller level w/o the luck).

I don't think you can judge success (even monetarily) based on the car they drive or the home they live in. Read the millionaire next door. I know lots of people that project success and they are mildly successful, but nowhere near the top. Most people I know that are super successful, you would never know it unless you really knew them.

After talking with someone for an hour I think I can judge if they are really successful no matter what they are wearing or how well they speak in public. It is the passion, drive and knowledge in their chosen field that drives them to the top.

Lastly, I think most superstars are contrarians that look for out-of-the-box solutions to problems. They aren't party line people. They zig while others zag.

heyyou
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by heyyou » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:20 pm

If the OP is not successful at making a lot of money, consider just being a good saver. Some who saved and bought index funds for three decades have very good retirements, partially from already knowing how to live within their means.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by bo105954027 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:16 pm

gasman wrote:Some combination of talent, drive, and luck.


Absolutely agree. The truth is concise.
Time in the market beats timing the market.

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VictoriaF
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:39 pm

an_asker wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:[...]If I am pessimistic, I feel unlucky that I can't have as many posts as Livesoft.

Victoria

At 15,000+ posts, I would definitely say that you are "successful," though not as much as Mr. Jones (aka Livesoft) ;-)


Livesoft has over 49,000 posts, and I have over 15,000 posts. Should I see my Bogleheads glass as one-third full or two-thirds empty? It is THE question.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

blueberry
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by blueberry » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:46 pm

From the OP's post:

"One thing I've noticed - and this is probably something I inculcated..."

Easily using the word 'inculcated' could be one form of success.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by FillorKill » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:04 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Livesoft has over 49,000 posts, and I have over 15,000 posts. Should I see my Bogleheads glass as one-third full or two-thirds empty? It is THE question.

Victoria

livesoft has 49150 posts/1.64% of all posts/14.14 posts per day.
You have 15760 posts/.53% of all posts/4.53 posts per day.

Maybe you should just admire his glass....

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VictoriaF
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:06 pm

FillorKill wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Livesoft has over 49,000 posts, and I have over 15,000 posts. Should I see my Bogleheads glass as one-third full or two-thirds empty? It is THE question.

Victoria

livesoft has 49150 posts/1.64% of all posts/14.14 posts per day.
You have 15760 posts/.53% of all posts/4.53 posts per day.

Maybe you should just admire his glass....


Right. Livesoft's glass is greener {laughing}

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

FillorKill
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by FillorKill » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:14 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Right. Livesoft's glass is greener {laughing}

Victoria

"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that green, for lack of a better word, is good. Green is right, green works. Green clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Green, in all of its forms; green for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind".

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Abe
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Abe » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:23 pm

In 1923, Babe Ruth broke the record for most home runs in a season. He also struck out more times than any other player in Major League Baseball.

Babe Ruth was not afraid to strike out. And it was this fearlessness that contributed to his remarkable career.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:12 pm

Growing up where and how I did in the 60's we had a word in the neighborhood that everyone understood was super critical to a person's success. That word was hustle. I started working part-time at 14 and never stopped working until 60. Those I know personally that have done better than I in terms of finances and career did so because they had more hustle. Hustle is not about intelligence, or agility with language, or ability to get along with others. Hustle is about doing what it takes to succeed, putting in the extra effort, taking the risk, thinking and planning, developing relationships, not taking no for an answer, trying and failing but never, ever giving up. Serious amounts of hustle plus some luck is what it takes to be profoundly successful from a career and finances standpoint.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by lightheir » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:42 pm

jabberwock wrote:Growing up where and how I did in the 60's we had a word in the neighborhood that everyone understood was super critical to a person's success. That word was hustle. I started working part-time at 14 and never stopped working until 60. Those I know personally that have done better than I in terms of finances and career did so because they had more hustle. Hustle is not about intelligence, or agility with language, or ability to get along with others. Hustle is about doing what it takes to succeed, putting in the extra effort, taking the risk, thinking and planning, developing relationships, not taking no for an answer, trying and failing but never, ever giving up. Serious amounts of hustle plus some luck is what it takes to be profoundly successful from a career and finances standpoint.


Sorry to say, but while hustle can be helpful, it's far, far, from the only factor.

Just think of the millions upon millions of people with uber-hustle in India and China who stay stuck in poverty-stricken situations.

Hustle helps, but it helps even more to be born in a place where your hustle can pay off.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:45 pm

lightheir wrote:
jabberwock wrote:Growing up where and how I did in the 60's we had a word in the neighborhood that everyone understood was super critical to a person's success. That word was hustle. I started working part-time at 14 and never stopped working until 60. Those I know personally that have done better than I in terms of finances and career did so because they had more hustle. Hustle is not about intelligence, or agility with language, or ability to get along with others. Hustle is about doing what it takes to succeed, putting in the extra effort, taking the risk, thinking and planning, developing relationships, not taking no for an answer, trying and failing but never, ever giving up. Serious amounts of hustle plus some luck is what it takes to be profoundly successful from a career and finances standpoint.


Sorry to say, but while hustle can be helpful, it's far, far, from the only factor.

Just think of the millions upon millions of people with uber-hustle in India and China who stay stuck in poverty-stricken situations.

Hustle helps, but it helps even more to be born in a place where your hustle can pay off.


Your point is well taken. Clearly some places and countries make succeeding (indeed sometimes just surviving) extremely tough. But I still assert that hustle pays off virtually everywhere. Failing because you are suposedly "stuck" in poverty stricken places is not what someone with uber hustle does. They get out of those places like millions of people do every year, or they find a way to succeed locally despite the challenges. There are more self made billionaires in China than any place on earth. New businesses are being started in India at a much higher rate than in the US. A person with serious hustle never makes excuses and they never accept the status quo as a given.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by travellight » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:10 pm

Calvin Coolidge says it is perseverance.

sawhorse
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by sawhorse » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:49 am

jabberwock wrote:
lightheir wrote:
jabberwock wrote:Growing up where and how I did in the 60's we had a word in the neighborhood that everyone understood was super critical to a person's success. That word was hustle. I started working part-time at 14 and never stopped working until 60. Those I know personally that have done better than I in terms of finances and career did so because they had more hustle. Hustle is not about intelligence, or agility with language, or ability to get along with others. Hustle is about doing what it takes to succeed, putting in the extra effort, taking the risk, thinking and planning, developing relationships, not taking no for an answer, trying and failing but never, ever giving up. Serious amounts of hustle plus some luck is what it takes to be profoundly successful from a career and finances standpoint.


Sorry to say, but while hustle can be helpful, it's far, far, from the only factor.

Just think of the millions upon millions of people with uber-hustle in India and China who stay stuck in poverty-stricken situations.

Hustle helps, but it helps even more to be born in a place where your hustle can pay off.


Your point is well taken. Clearly some places and countries make succeeding (indeed sometimes just surviving) extremely tough. But I still assert that hustle pays off virtually everywhere. Failing because you are suposedly "stuck" in poverty stricken places is not what someone with uber hustle does. They get out of those places like millions of people do every year, or they find a way to succeed locally despite the challenges. There are more self made billionaires in China than any place on earth. New businesses are being started in India at a much higher rate than in the US. A person with serious hustle never makes excuses and they never accept the status quo as a given.


As someone who is intimately familiar with China, I can say that you have absolutely no idea how hopeless the situation is for hundreds of millions of people there. Succeed locally? There are places in China, and not only a few, where hustle is practically worthless in succeding locally. It's all about connections and corruption.

Frankly, to say what you did about those people in China is insulting and offensive.

You wouldn't say the same thing about American slaves back in the day, would you?

It may not be official legal slavery, but for hundreds of millions people around the world, perhaps more than a billion, their chances and ability to escape their situation is about as good as an American slave back in the day.

I know you acknowledged that there are places that make succeeding and surviving extremely tough, but I don't think you realize that it's the majority of the world.

There are more people in China living in dire situations than there are people in total in the United States. And keep in mind that there would be even more, far more, if so many people in those areas did not die young due to their circumstances.

In terms of how is this actionable, it's actionable in that I highly encourage you to become informed about the dire situation of the majority of the world and in particular the abuse and human rights violations that are shockingly common. Nothing can change if people don't know that things need to change.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:02 am

Hustling success is in the eyes of another hustler. The opposite side of the success spectrum is creative, intellectual, academic success where sophistication, eloquence and understatement reign over pushiness.

Victoria
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by sawhorse » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:08 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
KlangFool wrote:In my opinion, most people are average in term of luck.

There's individual luck, and systemic luck in terms of time and place. I benefited from that. I was a science grad student during a time when there was a severe engineer shortage. So I was hired into a company where I wouldn't even get and interview now. I'd probably be a professor at a small college now. Which might not be the worst thing in the world, but a different life for sure.

Earl


I think people underestimate both individual luck and what you call "systemic luck", but especially the latter. As the OP defined success in terms of money - I agree with those that believe money is not the only form of success - there have been studies showing that the economic environment when students graduate business school still affects their financial situation decades later.

In terms of myself, I didn't realize the extent to which luck matters, even in a country with as many opportunities as the United States, until I was suddenly struck by severe medical problems in my early 30s. I am a bright person, very educated, and was a hard worker on upward career, financial, and personal trajectories. Then poof, it's gone. Even if I'm able to work again, I won't be able to get back into the field I trained 9 years for as I'll have missed out on so much that has happened in the time I'm gone.

People like me are literally invisible to a lot of Americans because we are mostly unable to go out. I went from being interviewed by prominent national news channels to being cut off from the world. I didn't realize how many people there are in my situation until I became one of them and learned more about it. The internet has been a godsend to people like me due to the communities available for people who can't participate in an in-person community.

That's not to say I haven't been lucky relative to others who have figuratively had their lives ended by medical problems.

One way my luck was good is that I was able to get in a couple good earning years before this happened, and my husband has a job that has allowed us to avoid bankruptcy due to medical bills. That's our goal now, to not have to deplete too much of our savings to pay for medical bills, whereas before it was to steadily build our net financial worth over the long term.

I was also lucky in that the new Obamacare law allows me to get medical coverage despite my pre-existing conditions. We still have to shell out a lot of money (>$20k a year) for medically related expenses, but it's nowhere near as much as it would have been before.

We also were considering children at the time, and if I had gotten pregnant, we would be in a truly difficult financial situation, so in hindsight I'm lucky that I didn't.
Last edited by sawhorse on Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by sawhorse » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:57 am

The quote below is from an excellent recent brief essay that I hope people will read. I have a feeling that, due to the way link sharing generally goes, a lot of the people who have read it already know the points the author makes. I hope that more people who can learn something from it will read it.

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/09/sub ... ealth.html

From "The Subtle Arrogance of Good Health" by Angelika Byczkowski

Until my physical ailments began worsening rapidly in my late 40s, I was a high achiever, proud of my “kick ass” attitude, thinking I was so competent I could surmount any challenge life threw at me. Life appeared to be straightforward, and I didn’t understand why this didn’t seem to be the case for so many other less fortunate folks.

Though I worked hard for my accomplishments and sometimes struggled, there was never a question of ability, never a doubt I’d prevail if I made enough effort. Looking back now, I can see the consistent achievements that came so easily and so early in life instilled in me a subtle subconscious arrogance.

Though I knew even back then that I was lucky to be smart and healthy, it was a superficial knowing, not a deep understanding integrated into my world view. I couldn’t conceive of my health ever becoming a limiting factor in life.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:55 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Hustling success is in the eyes of another hustler. The opposite side of the success spectrum is creative, intellectual, academic success where sophistication, eloquence and understatement reign over pushiness.

Victoria


Beside a positive connotation there is clearly a negative and largely culturally influenced connotation that can be read into the words hustle and hustler. Such is the richness of the English language and its venacular. How one interprets this largely depends on a person's perspective and perhaps their agenda.

A basketball coach stating Michael Jordan always demonstrated a tremendous amount of hustle on the court when he played for the Bulls in Chicago is of course interpreted 180 degrees different from a news reporter speaking about a pimp's activities running a prostitution ring.

Despite the words hustle and hustler having simultaneously positive and negative connotations I am quite confident that most folks understand exactly how I am using it in my earlier post.
In case it wasn't abundantly clear I was referring to succeeding (meaning reaching personal goals) by dint of outsized effort, focus, and relentless drive, like a Michael Jordan, and not to referring to activities more commonly associated with unethical sales folks, pimps,
con artists , and the like.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:07 pm

sawhorse wrote:
jabberwock wrote:
lightheir wrote:
jabberwock wrote:Growing up where and how I did in the 60's we had a word in the neighborhood that everyone understood was super critical to a person's success. That word was hustle. I started working part-time at 14 and never stopped working until 60. Those I know personally that have done better than I in terms of finances and career did so because they had more hustle. Hustle is not about intelligence, or agility with language, or ability to get along with others. Hustle is about doing what it takes to succeed, putting in the extra effort, taking the risk, thinking and planning, developing relationships, not taking no for an answer, trying and failing but never, ever giving up. Serious amounts of hustle plus some luck is what it takes to be profoundly successful from a career and finances standpoint.


Sorry to say, but while hustle can be helpful, it's far, far, from the only factor.

Just think of the millions upon millions of people with uber-hustle in India and China who stay stuck in poverty-stricken situations.

Hustle helps, but it helps even more to be born in a place where your hustle can pay off.


Your point is well taken. Clearly some places and countries make succeeding (indeed sometimes just surviving) extremely tough. But I still assert that hustle pays off virtually everywhere. Failing because you are suposedly "stuck" in poverty stricken places is not what someone with uber hustle does. They get out of those places like millions of people do every year, or they find a way to succeed locally despite the challenges. There are more self made billionaires in China than any place on earth. New businesses are being started in India at a much higher rate than in the US. A person with serious hustle never makes excuses and they never accept the status quo as a given.


As someone who is intimately familiar with China, I can say that you have absolutely no idea how hopeless the situation is for hundreds of millions of people there. Succeed locally? There are places in China, and not only a few, where hustle is practically worthless in succeding locally. It's all about connections and corruption.

Frankly, to say what you did about those people in China is insulting and offensive.

You wouldn't say the same thing about American slaves back in the day, would you?

It may not be official legal slavery, but for hundreds of millions people around the world, perhaps more than a billion, their chances and ability to escape their situation is about as good as an American slave back in the day.

I know you acknowledged that there are places that make succeeding and surviving extremely tough, but I don't think you realize that it's the majority of the world.

There are more people in China living in dire situations than there are people in total in the United States. And keep in mind that there would be even more, far more, if so many people in those areas did not die young due to their circumstances.

In terms of how is this actionable, it's actionable in that I highly encourage you to become informed about the dire situation of the majority of the world and in particular the abuse and human rights violations that are shockingly common. Nothing can change if people don't know that things need to change.


My post saying China has more self made billionaires than any country on earth shocked and offended you? Wow. I am a little shocked that my post could be so wildly misinterpreted to denote something else entirely from my intent. I however respect both your perspective and your opinion on the subject. Being able to see other folks perspective respectfully even when they disagree is what makes these forums so valuable. And btw hustle does make a difference no matter where you are or who you are. And frankly the OP clearly was not asking what it takes to succeed in some of the most terrible repressive places on earth. Hopefully we can keep it on topic.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:10 pm

Successful people share certain traits - a few that have been identified in various studies include:

- the ability to delay gratification
- the high levels of IQ, EQ, or (preferably) both
- have had a mentor or role model

Behaviorally:

- set goals, short and long term, preferably written down
- maintain optimal health
- work hard but better, work smart

Luck (more or less):

- be born in America to striving immigrant parents (doesn't seem to matter too much where they came from - from Nigerian to Haitian to Chinese to Latino, these children outperform their native-born counterparts)
- have good health
- live in a healthy neighborhood (happiness and good health are actually very contagious)

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by sawhorse » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:27 pm

jabberwock wrote:My post saying China has more self made billionaires than any country on earth shocked and offended you? Wow. I am a little shocked that my post could be so wildly misinterpreted to denote something else entirely from my intent. I however respect both your perspective and your opinion on the subject. Being able to see other folks perspective respectfully even when they disagree is what makes these forums so valuable. And btw hustle does make a difference no matter where you are or who you are.


It was the fact that it was immediately preceded by, "Failing because you are suposedly "stuck" in poverty stricken places is not what someone with uber hustle does. They get out of those places like millions of people do every year, or they find a way to succeed locally despite the challenges."

There is no such thing as a completely self made billionaire, as every billionaire has benefitted from their family, their teachers, their mentors, their social circumstances, etc. But I get what people mean by self made billionaire, and that's a nitpicking point when discussing many billionaires in the United States.

In China accumulating wealth is much more difficult. Like I said, there are hundreds of millions who cannot even theoretically become wealthy. Their only possible path is to be super talented at sports.

To tell an illiterate Chinese person who toils 16 hours a day that they can "hustle" their way to wealth is indeed insulting and offensive. Or a girl sold into sex slavery.

It's like telling a stranded quadriplegic that they can walk their way to safety.

Please educate yourself about the conditions and abuse around the world. The people that risk their lives to expose these atrocities are far more "successful" than a billionaire tech entrepreneur.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:43 pm

sawhorse wrote:
jabberwock wrote:My post saying China has more self made billionaires than any country on earth shocked and offended you? Wow. I am a little shocked that my post could be so wildly misinterpreted to denote something else entirely from my intent. I however respect both your perspective and your opinion on the subject. Being able to see other folks perspective respectfully even when they disagree is what makes these forums so valuable. And btw hustle does make a difference no matter where you are or who you are.


It was the fact that it was immediately preceded by, "Failing because you are suposedly "stuck" in poverty stricken places is not what someone with uber hustle does. They get out of those places like millions of people do every year, or they find a way to succeed locally despite the challenges."

There is no such thing as a completely self made billionaire, as every billionaire has benefitted from their family, their teachers, their mentors, their social circumstances, etc. But I get what people mean by self made billionaire, and that's a nitpicking point when discussing many billionaires in the United States.

In China accumulating wealth is much more difficult. Like I said, there are hundreds of millions who cannot even theoretically become wealthy. Their only possible path is to be super talented at sports.

To tell an illiterate Chinese person who toils 16 hours a day that they can "hustle" their way to wealth is indeed insulting and offensive. Or a girl sold into sex slavery.

It's like telling a stranded quadriplegic that they can walk their way to safety.

Please educate yourself about the conditions and abuse around the world. The people that risk their lives to expose these atrocities are far more "successful" than a billionaire tech entrepreneur.


My apologies that you were shocked and offended by my post, definitely not my intent. Perhaps as you assert any amount of hustle is 100% completely worthless in the most repressive places on the planet. Having said that I think you are wrong but please allow me to express my opinion without being further shocked and offended. Given that this tack is so far afield of the intent of the original post, lets hopefully just leave it at that.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by KlangFool » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:36 pm

sawhorse wrote:
To tell an illiterate Chinese person who toils 16 hours a day that they can "hustle" their way to wealth is indeed insulting and offensive.



sawhorse,

Please do not assume what is insulting and offensive to Chinese. To my illiterate parents and their generation, it is insulting to believe that they cannot "hustle" their way to wealth. And, they had succeeded to prove all others wrong.

KlangFool

P.S.: How could you stop a group of people with an average gross saving rate of 30% to 50% from getting rich? You can't.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by triceratop » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:26 pm

KlangFool wrote:
sawhorse wrote:
To tell an illiterate Chinese person who toils 16 hours a day that they can "hustle" their way to wealth is indeed insulting and offensive.



sawhorse,

Please do not assume what is insulting and offensive to Chinese. To my illiterate parents and their generation, it is insulting to believe that they cannot "hustle" their way to wealth. And, they had succeeded to prove all others wrong.

KlangFool

P.S.: How could you stop a group of people with an average gross saving rate of 30% to 50% from getting rich? You can't.


Perhaps the difficulty is in achieving a 30% to 50% gross savings rate when your wages are low? Why do you think manufacturing moved to China?
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by sawhorse » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:43 pm

KlangFool wrote:
sawhorse wrote:
To tell an illiterate Chinese person who toils 16 hours a day that they can "hustle" their way to wealth is indeed insulting and offensive.



sawhorse,

Please do not assume what is insulting and offensive to Chinese. To my illiterate parents and their generation, it is insulting to believe that they cannot "hustle" their way to wealth. And, they had succeeded to prove all others wrong.

KlangFool

P.S.: How could you stop a group of people with an average gross saving rate of 30% to 50% from getting rich? You can't.


You stop them by keeping their wages low. Saving 30-50% of extremely low wages is still a very low amount of money.

I probably shouldn't have said illiterate. I should have said rural illiterate. There are a good number middle class illiterate in the cities.

How old are your parents? The only illiterate Chinese I've met in the US are elderly. None of my mother's friends - she is in her 70s - are illiterate. Some of them don't have much education, but they are still literate, even my aunt through marriage who had to train non-stop as a circus acrobat from a young age. She only had schooling until age 9 or 10. My uncle through marriage has an illiterate mother who is in her 90s. For that generation, illiterate doesn't equal abject poverty, particularly for women. For what it's worth, she never worked a day in her life - common for women of that generation but rare for the rural poor - and lived quite comfortably all her life.

In my experience, Chinese of my mother's generation and older understate their socioeconomic status when they were in China. My mother claims to have been poor because she grew up without plumbing and had to share a bedroom with 4 people. That was actually quite well off by Chinese standards of the time. They also had some government connections through her father.

Poor by American standards for sure, but nowhere near the abject poverty I'm referring to.

triceratop wrote:Perhaps the difficulty is in achieving a 30% to 50% gross savings rate when your wages are low? Why do you think manufacturing moved to China?


No, the savings rate is high. The wages are low, but so is the cost of living. Frugality is in the culture and probably driven by their history of poverty and massive changes in a short time period. Americans who went through the Great Depression developed frugal habits. In China the savings rate is already lower among young urban people. They haven't had to 吃苦.
Last edited by sawhorse on Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by KlangFool » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:57 pm

triceratop wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
sawhorse wrote:
To tell an illiterate Chinese person who toils 16 hours a day that they can "hustle" their way to wealth is indeed insulting and offensive.



sawhorse,

Please do not assume what is insulting and offensive to Chinese. To my illiterate parents and their generation, it is insulting to believe that they cannot "hustle" their way to wealth. And, they had succeeded to prove all others wrong.

KlangFool

P.S.: How could you stop a group of people with an average gross saving rate of 30% to 50% from getting rich? You can't.


Perhaps the difficulty is in achieving a 30% to 50% gross savings rate when your wages are low? Why do you think manufacturing moved to China?


triceratop,

1) I did not say that it is easy.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/25/china-sa ... chart.html

2) You should know that 40% to 50% is the average gross saving rate for the whole country of China.

KlangFool

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Fallible » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:42 pm

Happened to be reading from John Bogle's book, Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life, and saw this reference to success, which I like:

In life, we too often allow the illusory to triumph over the real. We focus too much on things and not enough on the intangibles that make things worthwhile; too much on success (a word I've never liked) and not enough on character, without which success is meaningless. ... We let false notions of personal satisfaction blind us to the real sense of calling that gives work meaning for ourselves, our communities, and our society."
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by rgs92 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:57 pm

If one more person says something like "An invitation was sent to my wife and I" I am going to scream.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:11 am

rgs92 wrote:If one more person says something like "An invitation was sent to my wife and I" I am going to scream.


Will you scream in all-caps?

Victoria
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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:42 pm

rgs92 wrote:If one more person says something like "An invitation was sent to my wife and I" I am going to scream.

Do you prefer ones like, "Me and my wife are doing something or the other?"

Earl (generally happy if people use "then" and "than" correctly)
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Loik098 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:48 pm

What makes people succeed? For a large segment of successful people, it's coming from money to begin with. Namely, he/she was raised in at least a middle to upper-middle class environment with a strong focus on education.

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Re: What makes people succeed?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:58 pm

I still think without a solid definition of "success" it's very difficult to make valid observations.

Earl
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

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